Smartphones have become inseparable parts of our lives as we tend to perform a whole lot of tasks every day with our smartphones such as sending messages, watching videos, listening to music and other audio content and checking emails. According to a report by TouchPoints, a cross-media, cross-device planning tool targeted at the communications industry, 2.1 billion people worldwide own a smartphone.
This report further adds that smartphone owners in the age group of 15-24 use their smartphone almost every other minute. Obviously, mobile devices are going to suffer huge attention and a lot of developments are going to take place around the smartphone technology itself and the mobile apps. Described below are the latest trends around mobile app development.
Increased Investments on Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There are already a number of AI apps that are being used. So, what is the trend? According to Gartner, compared to that in 2016, there is going to be a 300% increase in the investments on AI apps. AI will leverage cognitive interfaces and advanced analytics into machine learning and provide business users access to useful insights. Technology giants like Facebook, IBM, eBay and Microsoft have started acquiring startups that specialize on AI. AI provides business corporations a huge advantage in getting crucial insights on a lot of stuff like customer behavior, buying preferences, shopping patterns and so on.
More Cloud-driven Apps
Both business and personal users will increasingly look to manage their personal and professional stuff from the mobile devices. That will be an incentive to provide stuff like cloud storage solutions, software as a service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) over the mobile device apps. Already, a host of cloud-based mobile apps are available such as Dropbox, Salesforce1 Mobile App, Quickbooks and GetFeedback. A Cisco research says that “Globally, cloud apps will drive 90% of total mobile data traffic by 2019, and Mobile cloud traffic will be 11-fold with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60%.” For more clarity, see the image below.
Increased Focus on App Security
Many mobile apps manage confidential data but are vulnerable to hackers. For all their attractive features, most of the mobile apps obviously do not put emphasis on security. This observation is corroborated by a Gartner prediction which states that 75% of the mobile apps do not pass even the basic security tests.
According to a study conducted by HP, the health and fitness and analytics apps use ad and analytics libraries which are poorly configured. Poor configuration results in transmitting confidential user data to unauthorized hands.
There will be a lot of effort put into bolstering app security. The image below shows the major concerns surrounding app security. It is important to note that app security should be the primary task else all other developments surrounding mobile apps might be rendered futile.
M-Commerce – Getting Due Importance
In spite of undeniable evidence that M-Commerce is a growing force that is being embraced by smartphone users, not much has been done about it so far.
The top issues have been poor user experience overall and the relative unavailability of convenient transaction options.
According to a report, published in a video by Ascendia, a leading mail, shipping and distribution company, 29%, 27%, 26% and 32% of smartphone users in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States use their smartphones to view, evaluate and buy products and services.
However, in spite of great potential in this area, poor user experience and lack of reliable transaction options such as mobile wallets. Experts believe that business corporations are going to invest a lot on providing the users a seamless user experience over the apps and also integrate them with reliable, third-party or internal payment wallets or gateways.
Mobile Apps Incorporating Google Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP)
According to SOASTA, a company that provides digital performance management solutions for digital businesses to measure, optimize and test mobile, web applications and websites, 47% of smartphone users expect mobile website pages to load in 2 seconds or less and 48% of the smartphone users are unlikely to return to a poorly performing website.
For enterprises relying heavily on ecommerce by enabling potential customers to transact on their mobile apps and web applications, it can be a bad news unless they pull up their socks and do something about it.
- The Google AMP is an open source standard that enables static web pages to load fast on browsers. The solution uses plain versions of web pages that are cached by Google which enables fast loading of web pages.
More Investments in Enterprise Apps
Over time, enterprise apps have been proving extremely useful for business users like those users who are constantly on the go. Business users who like to perform tasks like approve invoices, view and edit presentations and manage projects on the go find mobile enterprise apps extremely useful.
Some examples of enterprise apps are Evernote, Intellectsoft, WillowTree and Ethervision.
An Adobe study finds that of all smartphone business users who use enterprise apps, 77% find them useful and 66% are expected to increase their investments. By 2021, the enterprise app market is going to be approximately $430 billion.
While there seems to be quite a few interesting developments going on in the mobile app development front, the business corporations that are investing so much on apps need to focus on something really crucial – security. As stated already, data security should be a primary and not a required characteristic of mobile apps. This needs to be kept in mind that with the evolution of mobile technology, the hacking or intrusion techniques have also been evolving, perhaps a tad faster. While enterprise apps are a bit better on this aspect, the personal apps, available on the Android, iOS and Windows stores, need to catch up fast.